October Election Looms Large for Lincoln Parish

To voters in Louisiana, elections are a way of life, usually with several dates set during the year for local and regional political offices, and for tax levies of one type or another.

2021 is no different.

Usually, the tax elections are scheduled by the taxing body (sheriff, police jury, school board, municipality, etc) for one of the obscure election dates, so as to keep the turnout low. The theory goes that a low turnout brings out mostly voters who benefit from taxes, while general elections with a lengthy ballot bring out more voters who might be inclined to vote no on taxes.

For this reason, efforts to consolidate the schedule to fewer dates have been unsuccessful. Local government lobbyists have strangled in the crib any legislation toward that end.

Depending upon what happens this week, or maybe on March 20 and/or April 24 of this year, there could be two tax elections in Lincoln Parish, and a district judges race for Lincoln and Union Parishes on Saturday, October 9, 2021.

Late last year, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a proclamation declaring Saturday, March 20 as election day for the District 2, Section 1 seat on the Louisiana Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. That seat became vacant after Jay McCallum was elected to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

That district and section includes voters in Bienville, Caldwell, Claiborne, Jackson, Lincoln, Union, and Winn Parishes.

So far the only announced candidate is Jeff Robinsnon, incumbent Third Judicial District (Lincoln, Union Parishes) Division A judge. Qualifying for the appeals court seat is this Wednesday through Friday, January 20-22.

If Robinson has no opponent, he wins by default, and his district court seat will become vacant. It is notable that Robinson won his first race in July, 2018 with no opposition. If he has opposition, that election would be set for 3/20/21, with a runoff date (if needed) of 4/24.

Several local attorneys are assuming Robinson will be successful and are preparing to run. Among the names mentioned:

Lewis Jones – Assistant District Attorney and unsuccessful judge candidate in 2014.

Monique Clement – Attorney and unsuccessful judge candidate in 2018.

Tyler Storms – Attorney and unsuccessful judge candidate in 2014.

The next available election date is October 9, 2021.

Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

October 9 is also the date that is next available for the Lincoln Parish Library’s tax millage that failed last December by a 57-43 margin. If it fails again, the library will cease operation, as the tax provides about 95% of its operating funds.

A millage that helps fund the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s office may be on the 10/9 ballot, as a 7.83 mil tax expires at the end of 2021. Here is the language that was voted on in April, 2012:

Shall the Law Enforcement District of the Parish of Lincoln, State of Louisiana (the “District”), under the provisions of Article VI, Section 30 of the Constitution of the State of Louisiana of 1974, Section 9003 of Title 33 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, as amended, and other constitutional and statutory authority supplemental thereto, be authorized to continue the levy and collection of an ad valorem tax of seven and eighty-three hundredths (7.83) mills on all property subject to taxation in the District (an estimated $2,779,100 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year), for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2012 and ending with the year 2021, to be dedicated and used for the purpose of (1) drug education, prevention, and enforcement; (2) personnel, training, and equipment and (3) other lawful expenses and operations of the Sheriff’s Office?

The library tax defeat got the attention of the local Courthouse Crowd, we are reliably informed. We can’t recall the last time a tax in Lincoln Parish failed.

10 Responses to “October Election Looms Large for Lincoln Parish”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Vote no on all property taxes Be it Sheriff dept, library or any others. Time to get leaner Lincoln Parish.

    • Anonymous Says:

      One of the highest total tax burdens in the state. It’s why I shop somewhere else whenever I can.

  2. Common Sense Says:

    Have we have reached our limit on taxes? Was the failure of the library tax a sign of what is to come? I am sure there are some nervous politicians out there. We have experienced several recent increases in sales tax in Ruston (Ballparks) and another increase for the schools that has soured the taste of all taxes for the people of the parish. I think all tax votes should be during the general election. None of this voting day shopping to find the best time to get your tax passed. If there is not at least a 50% turnout of registers voters the tax should not pass. Passing a tax in July with a 16% turnout should not happen.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I see that at least some citizens are opening their eyes.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I think most people want the library but are tired of taxes. The library board will be asking for big trouble if it doesn’t substantially reduce the millage requested.

  5. TripleNo Says:

    Government NEVER takes a financial cut, even when the people at large are suffering under unemployment due to COVID restrictions and general business malaise.Private-sector workers have mostly lost retirement and retiree health benefits, yet the government party goes on. The library asked for an INCREASE and it got beat. Local government spends, what,$180 million per year? It needs to get leaner and it can get leaner. Maybe then taxpayers will regain a voice in what is going on.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    First, the Law Enforcement District (Sheriff) applied to the State Bond Commission at the December meeting to hold the election on March 20. Unlike the Library renewal, this is NOT an increase.

    https://louisianasbc.novusagenda.com/Agendapublic/CoverSheet.aspx?ItemID=3032&MeetingID=87

    Second, not all the new sales taxes encompass the entire state or city. They target a certain portion of the city (as in the new service road north of I-20 east of Ruston) or an industry (hotel and restaurants to fund the ball park).

    Yes, there are many taxes, but not all taxes are bad. Do your research and determine which ones are worth supporting (for me the Sheriff’s renewal) and which ones are not (the inflated Library Tax).

    • SeenItComing Says:

      “Not all taxes are bad…”
      Debatable, but let me concede the point for the sake of furthering the discussion.
      What IS bad, universally bad, is when the people lose control of their government. Local government seems to be the only hope we have to regain some control; some voice. The best and maybe the only way to do so is to threaten the mother’s milk of government: the money which pays for it all. As the library situation clearly shows, cut the money off and the people gain a new level of respect from the government crowd.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Covid, has taken a big toll on people. Lost of jobs,death of love ones etc Cost has been tremendous. It’s safe to sway that not one government employee has lost their job nor had a reduction in pay during this time and I’m proud that they didn’t. But us private citizens need a break from some of the highest property and sales taxes in the state. Vote no on all upcoming taxes new or renewal.

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